With the Sun just starting to rise over the horizon we pulled nappy pins from our mooring at 08.10 and cruised past the old hat factory towards the services above the top lock of the Atherstone flight of 11 locks.
Below the top lock it looks like someone has been working hard on making the lock look good, well done to ever did this as it looks very good. I wouldn’t have thought it was the volunteer Lock keepers that did it as it’s very rare that they ever venture far out of their little hut above the top lock. When we came up this flight last year we came across three lockies that were without any shadow of doubt the laziest, couldn’t care less Lockies we have ever had the misfortune to come across. To not be bothered to help a single handed elderly lady boater who was struggling to come up the flight was absolutely appalling.We were behind her and helped her up a few locks before she told us to pass her and carry on . Reaching the top we told the Lockie’s about how she was struggling only for them to say “we are here to manage water levels and not to help boater’s” . Also they do have a bit of a reputation for sitting around at the top lock and doing nothing. Nearly all Volunteer lockies we have come across all over the country have been brilliant and so helpful to all boater’s, it’s just a bit of a shame that a few like these should let the rest down …..Rant over !
We were a bit lucky here as when we got to the bottom lock there was a pair of boats going through in front of us, if we had caught up with them further up the flight it would have taken us twice as long to come down the flight.. The boats where Zulu and Alsager a pair that we have seen many times over the years.
In the end it took us just over three hours to drop down the lock flight as many of the locks were against us (empty instead of full when we got to them).We then intended to cruise just a couple of miles before mooring at a spot we had identified last time we passed this way.
Just as we were mooring a boat approached from the opposite direction flying the flag of Devon .We soon realised as it got closer that it was friends Terry and Pam on Narrowboat The Roosters Rest. We haven’t seen them for some time and after a cuppa at The Roosters rest it was an afternoon aboard Inca for drinks and a long awaited catch up . Hopefully it won’t be so long before we meet up again and I will make sure that I stock up with a bottle or three of Gin for Pam …Ha-ha !